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14 BEST Restaurants in Queenstown – Places to Eat in 2020

Queenstown is possibly the coolest town in New Zealand.  Anywhere you look you will see beautiful scenery, with great restaurants and bars all along the waterfront and live entertainment any time of the day.  

Most people visiting Queenstown have limited time (usually only a few days), and with so much to choose from you want to make the most out of each and every meal.

We decided to compile a list of our best places to eat in Queenstown so you don’t have to worry about what’s good (and what’s not so good!).

Queenstown Cheap Eats (< $15)

Best Burgers in Queenstown

Ferg Burger

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

Over the past 10-15 years, Ferg Burger has grown from a backstreet burger shop to become the most popular restaurant in Queenstown.  And for a good reason. Not only do they make possibly the best burgers in the world, but you can buy one for under $15!

This makes it not only one of the cheapest places to eat in Queenstown, but also one of the biggest and most enjoyable meals you can find.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Ferg Burger with Cheese, but you should make an effort to try as many different burgers as you can during your stay in Queenstown.  Trust us, when you get back home and reminisce of the burger you once had back in New Zealand, you will regret not eating another.

If you have heard of Ferg Burger, then it is likely you have also heard about the queues.  They basically go for miles as hundreds of desperate tourists mill around the shop like a swarm of bees.  So we wanted to offer the number one tip of this blog post:

Call ahead.

Seriously.  Here’s their number:  03 441 1232.

Give them a ring – sometimes it’s hard to get through – and place your order over the phone.  You’ll turn up 15 minutes later, bound past the queue, pay and walk away with your burger in hand.  

If you can wait a few minutes longer, make your way down to the waterfront and eat it on the grass.  You’ll usually have live music from one of the buskers. Eating a Ferg Burger with a glass of wine from one one of the wineries in Queenstown is amongst our favourite things to do in Queenstown.

Ferg Burger is the best place to eat in Queenstown.

Best Queenstown Bakery

Ferg Baker

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

I’m not sure if there is a day we’ve spent in Queenstown without going to Ferg Baker.  It’s just that good. The pies are out of this world. I’ve eaten a lot of pies (most of them a lot cheaper to be fair), and Ferg Baker’s pork belly pie wins every time.

Our favourite way to start the day is to stop by Ferg Baker, grab a pie, a coffee (oh, yeah they have great baristas too) and a pizza bread to snack on for morning tea.  

The best part about Ferg baker is that there is rarely a queue.  It doesn’t appear to have the popularity of Ferg Burger, plus the food here isn’t made to order, so you can usually pop in and out in a few minutes.  

The best bakery in Queenstown, Ferg baker.

Best Gelato in Queenstown

Patagonia Chocolate

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

It has always baffled us how gelato is such a big deal in Queenstown.  Even in the middle of summer you wouldn’t exactly call the weather in Queenstown tropical.  Despite this everyone flocks to the numerous gelato stores (there’s even a cart) to get their gelato fix.

We are no exception – irrespective of the temperature, gelato is delicious and we’re going to try all the flavours.  Each place was great in their own ways, but Patagonia Chocolate was our favourite.

You can’t go wrong as all the flavours here are great, but our favourites are vanilla & cookies and tramontana.  But you may as well just ask to try a few, then keep trying until you’ve tried them all. That’s what we did.

Oh, and don’t forget to try their hot chocolate.  Definitely the best in Queenstown.

Best Empanadas

Empanada Kitchen

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

The Empanada Kitchen sells beautifully rolled empanadas out of what appears to be a well-branded cleaning closet attached to the public bathrooms.  The menu changes daily serving a different filling encased in a delicious, buttery casing.

These little pockets of joy are $5.50 making them the perfect treat for a stroll around Lake Wakatipu.  Sadly, they close their doors quite early so don’t plan for a late night snack.

Must eat budget snacks from the Empanada Kitchen in Queenstown.

Best Queenstown Sushi

Hikari Sushi Bar

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

Hikari Sushi Bar serves up great sushi.  It’s definitely on the pricier side, but that’s what you get when no one else opens another sushi bar in Queenstown.  

Regardless, it sneaks in under $15 (as long as you aren’t starving), and you definitely get some delicious, fresh sushi in generous portion sizes.  Worth checking out when you’re craving something healthier, perhaps on day 5 of your trip after eating 4 Ferg burgers every other day.

Also, check out their Japanese restaurant for a great Japanese dine-in experience.

Hikari Sushi Bar in Queenstown.

Best Happy Hour

Cookie Time Cookie Bar

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

The warm cookies here are amazing.  But at full price, it’s a bit of a tourist trap.  Luckily the Cookie Time Cookie Bar runs the best happy hour in Queenstown:

8 to 9am – $1 coffees & hot chocolates

6 to 7pm – Buy 1 get 1 free hot cookies

In fact, they run two happy hours.  And surprisingly, the coffee actually wasn’t too bad.  For $1 it’s well worth it to get your day started.

The 2 for 1 hot cookies is where it’s at.  This is why Cookie Time has earned a spot as one of the best places to eat in Queenstown.  Make your way down and make sure to grab yourself 8 cookies (for the price of 4!!).

Cookie Time Cookie Bar in Queenstown.

Cheapest Queenstown Bakery

The Bakery

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

For a long time, Ferg Baker across the road has been our favourite bakery.  One day we pulled up in a park next to The Bakery and thought we should take a look.  We ended up walking out with two pies and an almond croissant – for the same price as two pies at Ferg Baker.  So it was a bit cheaper.

All-in-all, the pies were fantastic and the almond croissant was delicious.  It’s just a pity that Ferg Baker is across the road, as the pies at Ferg Baker are the best pies we’ve ever eaten.  And we eat a lot of pies.

The Bakery is definitely worth checking out, and you’ll be able to save a few dollars over Ferg Baker.

Cheapest Meal in Queenstown

Four Square

When you truly are a budget traveller, possibly living in a dorm room (or a tent), spending $10-15 on each meal is going to add up fast.

That’s why we wanted to include the cheapest place to buy a meal in Queenstown:  Four Square. Head in here and grab some rolls, lettuce and ham, and you have lunch and dinner sussed for just $5.  

But if you don’t feel like a hot lunch on a cold Queenstown day, then make your way to the deli section where you can buy hot pies, cooked chicken, bacon, lasagna toppers, sandwiches and more.  Often these are discounted significantly and you can pick up a cooked meal for just $3.

Best Latin Cuisine

Caribe Latin Kitchen

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

We would like to preface this by saying that we did not have a pleasant experience here.  The service we received from the owner wasn’t great seeing as she incorrectly accused us of not paying.

We showed our bank statements which proved we paid, and despite the poor service, the food we received was absolutely delicious.  We’re confident recommending it and we’re sure we’ll be heading back at some point in the future.

This place gets super busy, so head in early and pick up a burrito or a quesadilla for an affordable $13.50.

Mid-Range Restaurants in Queenstown

Best Restaurant with a View

The Bathhouse Cafe

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

This historical cafe opened in 1911 and can be easily recognised by its impressive architecture.  The Bathhouse Cafe is a super cute, vintage cafe and bar located right on the waterfront of Lake Wakatipu.  

When you walk in off the street the heat is turned up and there is a cosy vibe to the place.  You look out the window and Lake Wakatipu is just a few steps away. Grab yourself a hot chocolate, a coffee or a wine and just watch the view.

If the weather’s warm enough, we love to sit outside by the water and we recommend you give it a shot too.  They have a great brunch menu, as well as a cabinet filled with delicious treats.

This is the best restaurant with a view we found in Queenstown.  If scenic views are what you are looking for while you eat, then this is the best place to go.

The best restaurant with a view in Queenstown, The Bath house Cafe.

Best Pizza in Queenstown

Winnie’s Gourmet Pizza Bar

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

We walked past Winnie’s 3 times, and each time we looked at it and thought it was the cutest restaurant in Queenstown.  There’s a cute little balcony that looks out over the street. We could only imagine sitting here and looking out at all the busy people walking below.

The atmosphere at Winnie’s is warm and friendly.  The pizzas come in an unusual variety of flavours which gives a new twist on food which we’ve all had a million times – pizza!  Make sure you try the Tandoori chicken and the Moroccan lamb pizzas.

Despite the cute atmosphere here, our favourite thing to do is to take away and head down to the waterfront for a picnic.

Although Winnie’s didn’t quite make it into the Queenstown cheap eats, the price isn’t quite as bad as it looks.  At $38.75 the large pizza will be enough for two to eat for dinner, possibly with a slice or two left over.

The best restaurant for pizza in Queenstown, Winnie's.

Best Lamb in Queenstown

Pedro’s House of Lamb

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

New Zealand’s renown for lamb appears to be somewhat linked to the fact that we have significantly more sheep than humans.  Despite this, the lamb from Pedro’s truly is something special.

Call them up and place an order to be picked up – Pedro’s is takeaway only.

What you’ll get is the best 100% locally sourced lamb, slow-cooked for hours with garlic and rosemary, and complemented with delicious roast potatoes.

This is our favourite place to get lamb in Queenstown, avoid the overly-tourist focussed restaurants along the waterfront and pick yours up from Pedro’s.  You can always take it down to the waterfront and eat it picnic-style. It’s better than guiltily eating it in your hostel whilst everyone is watching.

Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Queenstown

Best Upper-Mid Range Restaurant

Toro Kitchen

Tripadvisor Rating: 4

We were drawn in by the modern design of the interior at Toro Kitchen, with their tables sprawling out into the street. It’s the perfect location to relax and people watch as the world goes by around you.

The food here is immaculate, with prices on the higher end around $30-40.  The service is lovely and friendly.

If you are a budget-conscious traveller, check out the website First Table to get 50% off your food bill here for the first table of the night.  For cheap drinks, also check out their happy hour for half-priced cocktails.

Toro Kitchen, a great mid-range restaurant in Queenstown.

Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Queenstown

Botswana Butchery

Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5

Botswana Butchery is renowned as the epitome of fine dining in Queenstown.  The decor is beautiful and the atmosphere warm (nice on a cold day in Queenstown), with perfect service from the friendly staff.

As to be expected, the food was amazing.  Meat is their specialty, but you really can’t go wrong ordering anything.  We recommend starting with some Bluff Oysters, the lamb as a main and some duck fat potatoes as a side.  And working your way through the Pinot Noir list if you’re into wine.

Prices are high, but we’re believers in treating yourself every once in a while – so make sure to head on down to celebrate something and enjoy one of the best culinary experiences in Queenstown.

Botswana Butchery, Queenstown's best fine dining restaurant.

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